It’s hard not to contrast the Holy Family’s experience with ours as volunteers. During the year in Ecuador, there was not a single moment, whether they were tired or thriving, in which our neighbors did not open their doors to us with a welcoming abrazote and besito. As volunteers, we found refuge, love, and family in their homes. There was no room for the Holy Family at the inn, but because of the people of Arbolito, I knew that simply wouldn’t happen to us.
As men and women who believe in a God of liberation and radical hospitality, we are called to welcome all newcomers with compassion and gratitude. Our Ecuadoran neighbors have modeled this; their hospitality was not simply ours to keep, but is a gift that we are to share again and again. May we do this both urgently and intentionally so that those who seek sanctuary receive the welcoming embrace they deserve.